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Cholera outbreak kills 20 in Rivers community

By Ann Godwin (PortHarcourt)   |   14 January 2015   |   3:36 pm  

A CHOLERA outbreak has killed 20 people in various communities of Andoni Local Government  Area of Rivers State, with about 200 people diagnosed with the bacteria disease since two weeks.

Health officers posted to the area to contain the situation confirmed that the plague outbreak was traced to poor source of drinking water.

The Guardian gathered that the major source of water in the Council  are streams and wells which are drying up due to the severe harmattan.

Reacting to the development, the Andoni Caretaker Committee  Chairman, Emmanuel Ikwut, explained that the outbreak was diagnosed earlier in four communities of the Council last year and was contained  by health teams.

He noted that the  recent resurface of the disease in Ebuguma, Ngo,Ukwa communities few weeks ago  followed lack of good source of drinking water in the communities.

He said, “The health workers here traced the outbreak to bad source of water because the major source of water here are wells and streams. The boreholes we have lacked treatment facilities”.

He however noted that the situation is under control as the State emergency response team and the social mobilization team are already on ground to assess and manage the situation.

Ikwut also called on the Federal and State governments including donor agencies to come to the aid of the victims by donating relief materials and sinking of boreholes.

 Similarly, the State  Commissioner for Health, Dr. Sampson Parker confirmed that  171 cases have so far, been  recorded with 20 deaths following what he called ‘an  outbreak of gastroenteritis, suspected to be cholera,  in some communities in Andoni Local Council of the State.

The Commissioner in a statement issued in PortHarcourt yesterday. maintained that the Local Government Area Rapid Response Team with state Emergency Response Team have responded swiftly to the situation.

He said, “The State Emergency response team and the social mobilization team are already on ground to assess and manage the situation”.

Parker said,  two treatment centers have already been established at Ebukuma and Okoli’ile to manage cases and affected people are advised to assess the facilities.

The Commissioner while reacting to the alleged lack of good source of drinking water in the area said, directives have been given for the sinking of bore holes in the affected communities immediately.

He urged the public to remain calm, as situation is under control.



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